I was no more than six, cutting out pink hearts, Elmer’s glue in my hair, pasting them on a shoebox covered in white paper doilies. My Valentine’s cards all chosen were ready to give. By the end of the day, my little body burst with joy counting the Valentines in my box over and over.
Perhaps that was my first feeling of being loved by others outside of my parents.
Last Valentine’s I spent the evening with a room full of wonderful women with whom I have done one-on-one work, who have become precious friends. And they spoke eloquently and passionately of love; love for their life; that they know why they are here: for the challenges and growth of living on purpose; for hard choices; and of love for each other and for me.
Have to tell you, it was a major cry-fest, this bursting of joy, feeling loved.
Sometimes we get knocked over by the crassness and cash-ness of V day. Sometimes scant love flows our way or is cruelly snatched away, or our love is discarded and trampled. Our shoebox, hopeful and decorated, sits empty.
Sometimes V day is a reminder of how alone ‘one’ can be. Spent more than a few depressing Valentine’s during long years on my own, until I finally figured out that feeling loved and giving love are deeply entwined.
I used to think of love as a pie. Only so much to go around. If you get a big piece, there’s less for me. I was worried sick when close to the birth of my second child. My heart was on fire with love for my first son Jason. The love was all consuming. How could there be enough love for a second child?
Then Trevor exploded into my arms and heart and I realised that love is not a pie to be divided; it is bread. Not any bread. Love is a big fat golden crusted sourdough loaf which has a ‘mother’ starter you can keep alive forever… the more flour you feed it, the more loaves you can make.
Love is a verb. An action. A choice. Something we create and give. And in turn we are awash in love.
Loving without limits is the unparalleled giving that defines my Mark. At first, I kept waiting for the shoe to drop. But his unflinching love healed my darkest shadows of unworthiness. The ‘other shoe’ has never dropped. It never will.
We all need to be loved.
We all need to feel loved.
And we all need to create love to give love.
We can never know how our smallest gesture, even to a stranger, can fill both of us with love.
May you choose to create love, give love and be filled with love.
With huge love,